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Hi, I'm a new member, and after seeing your Blackjack Guide page, I was excited to try out some of the recommended casinos there. However, after doing a little more research into your top four picks, I was very disappointed. In your calculations, you neglected to consider that for select games (including blackjack), only a percentage of your wagers "rollover" toward bonus wager requirements.
For your top pick, CasinoMax, only 10% of blackjack wagers count. I had to talk to their online help to get all the info (to their credit, they were very responsive). Currently, they offer a 100% matching bonus for new players that can be used for blackjack, at a 40 x (deposit + bonus), or 80xB wager requirement. Factoring in the 10% rollover percentage for blackjack wagers, that's 800xB. Multiplying that by the 0.67% house advantage on their 6-deck game (assuming optimal basic strategy in this and all games mentioned) gives us about a 536% loss, meaning your bonus will be long gone before you ever meet the wager requirements.
Your second pick, Bovada Casino, has a 100% matching bonus for new blackjack players, at a 25 x (deposit + bonus), or 50xB wager requirement. Their 6-deck blackjack has a 10% rollover percentage, for a total 500xB. With the house advantage of 0.54%, that's a loss of about 270%, not as bad as CasinoMax, but you'll still use up your bonus long before you can cash out.
Their single-deck blackjack has a 5% rollover percentage, for a total 1000xB! However, with the small house advantage of 0.076%, that gives us a loss of about 76%, which is a 24% gain on your deposit. Not bad, but even betting a risky 1/50 of your bonus (and assuming you don't hit a bad streak and lose it all), that would take 50,000 hands to win. For the number of hours that would take, you'd be better off working at Walmart; at least you'd get some good exercise, and you'd make a lot more money (and yes, I speak from personal experience). Your third pick, Ignition Casino, is also owned by Bovada, and has the same games and terms and conditions.
Your fourth pick, iNetBet Casino, has a 100% matching bonus for new blackjack players, at 60 x (deposit + bonus) for blackjack, or 120xB. Their requirement is higher for blackjack than any other game, but at least they don't seem to have any hidden rollover percentages. They have a 6-deck game with a 0.67% advantage, which gives us a total loss of about 80%, or a 20% gain on your deposit. However, reading the fine print, "at the time of a cashout, the amount of the bonus will be deducted from the balance," so it really is an 80% loss, not a gain. It's a non-cashable bonus, which is basically useless for serious blackjack playing, since you would have to make a gain on the bonus itself. (With a 1/50 bet, you would have to make a gain playing 6,000 hands against a 0.67% advantage!)
If your top four picks for blackjack casinos are any indication, I think the jig is up for blackjack players at online casinos. They are in the business of making money after all, so no well-run casino is going to give players a simple way to consistently make money off them just by using bonus offers and following a basic strategy of play. Fortunately, I did my own research before investing any money. I encourage you to update your Blackjack Guide page to incorporate "hidden" rollover percentages for blackjack in your wagering requirements, and remove any casinos that have non-cashable bonuses from your recommended list.
I'm assuming you are referring to this page? Thanks for taking the time to write all that down and let us know. You make good points in that none of those bonuses are good options for a blackjack only player.
Unfortunately blackjack and most other low house edge table games or video poker have not been viable bonus clearing games for several years at least. Most casinos don't allow blackjack at all for bonus wagering any more, or as you have found they reduce the contribution percentage down to levels that make it a joyless grind. This latter rule though does allow you to play a bit of blackjack without voiding your bonus winnings on other games, but makes it infeasible to just play blackjack the whole time unless you've nearly unlimited patience.
In my case I made loads of money 10+ years ago by playing blackjack and video poker bonuses. But these days I never ever claim a bonus any more if I'm going to play blackjack. It's just not worth locking myself in to the grind.
So you're probably wondering why there is a list of bonuses on the page in that case? I think the answer is that it is related to the page template we use for a game guide. If the game is recognised by our system it just inserts a list of the best bonuses it can find that allow that game. The list is totally generated by algorithm and not hand picked or edited by anyone.
Also what you probably haven't realised is that the list of bonuses at the bottom is adaptive to whatever country you're visiting from. So there are probably a few better blackjack friendly bonuses that you are not seeing because they can only be played by people from other countries. Americans have a very restricted choice in terms of online casinos that A) will let them play and B) haven't been set up to rip them off.
Lastly, cashable vs non-cashable is not that cut and dried. Non-cashables are not worthless and do have value depending on the way you play. Mathematically the best way is to maximise variance and bet as big as possible up front so you either win big to reach a target that is advantageous to wager, or lose quickly so you don't have to do all the wagering. However these days the casinos are on to this strategy and they will restrict the amount you can bet per hand to prevent you from doing so. Again unfortunately you're years too late in that regard.
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Just updating some bonuses in response to the ones you raised...
CasinoMax: looks like they are hiding the individual games weighting even from the promotional terms on their website. It only says 40x(D+B). But there is nowhere that states the 10% contribution. The best I could find was: Each game may contribute differently for the bonus wagers. The Player can check the contribution table in the cashier section of their account after redeeming a bonus for details. That sort of thing makes it a giant PITA for us to keep the bonus requirements and statistics up to date. I've emailed them and asked them to supply us with a full list of terms for their welcome bonuses.
Bovada and Co: They have recently updated their wagering requirements for their welcome bonuses and our info was out of date. We have fixed this. However I noted that blackjack still counts at 60% towards meeting wagering requirements for some of their other bonuses, it depends on the casino (I definitely saw that at Ignition Casino).
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